Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Electromagnetic Spectrum and Bandwidth

Novel concepts and technologies for maximizing use of the electromagnetic spectrum

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The Low Cost Thermal Imager - Manufacturing (LCTI-M) program seeks to enable widespread use of infrared imaging (IR) technology by individual warfighters, with a special focus on affordability and ease of use for dismounted soldiers and individual intelligence personnel, for whom situational awareness and instant sharing of information is critical. IR imaging has the capability to “see” through obscurants, providing valuable information even in environments with severely degraded visibility. Low-cost infrared cameras would empower each warfighter with this essential capability and could open the way to new tactical procedures that demand a common view of the battlefield.
The warfighter's effectiveness in current and future combat missions can be severely limited by inadequate target discrimination, and an inability to view the operational scene with larger fields of view and longer standoff distances. For ground combat and near-ground support operations where tactical information is urgently needed to make timely decisions, there is a significant capability gap for day and night intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR).
The low cost of digital imaging devices has allowed them to become ubiquitous consumer products. This low cost is made possible by leveraging a mature complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) processing infrastructure and the ability to fabricate complete focal plane arrays (FPAs) at the wafer scale. A similar trend is occurring at a smaller scale with thermal imaging technologies. Microbolometers that are sensitive in the LWIR spectrum are also manufactured at the wafer scale and the resulting cost reduction is enabling thermal imagers at consumer-grade price points.
Program Manager
Dr. Whitney Mason joined DARPA as a Program Manager in the Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) in November 2017. Her research interests are in imaging sensors that provide multi-function capability.
06/17/2020
The Defense Sciences Office (DSO) at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is soliciting innovative research proposals in the area of passive three-dimensional (3D) vision using ambient thermal emissions. Proposed research should investigate innovative approaches that enable revolutionary advances in science, devices, or systems. Specifically excluded is research that primarily results in evolutionary improvements to the existing state of practice.